SeaWorld parks around the world are almost all open (with one large exception being SeaWorld San Diego), but even though the COVID-19 related shutdowns are largely over, SeaWorld parks are still struggling, reporting that attendance across its entire family of theme parks fell 81% during the third quarter due to pandemic-related restrictions.
All told, around 1.6 million people visited SeaWorld during this period, which of course had a direct effect on revenue, which fell 77.6% to $106 million during this period. And though this seems bad, SeaWorld has said that they have raised additional capital and, as of September 30, have $800 million on hand, which puts them in a much better position to weather continued attendance downturns.
And though these numbers definitely don't sound great, considering the circumstances it seems like SeaWorld is at least staying afloat and are seeing some positive trends. SeaWorld’s interim CEO, March Swanson, said in an investors call that monthly attendance improved during the quarter, with the modified Halloween Spooktacular bringing capacity-level crowds to SeaWorld parks and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's Howl-O-Scream event drawing 60% of last year’s attendance.
Though things are still far from normal at SeaWorld, it looks like things are at least heading in a positive direction for this family of parks, and hopefully things will continue to get better as we head into 2021. Though no hard dates were given, SeaWorld once again confirmed that both the Icebreaker coaster at SeaWorld Orlando and Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay are virtually complete, and will open sometime next spring.